Controversial art takes center stage at ArtFest

Posted at 11:26 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 23:26:04-05

FORT MYERS, Fla.- It was a strong turnout for opening night of ArtFest Fort Myers. Long lines of people admiring the artists who made the cut to have their work displayed.

About one thousands artists applied to be here but just over two hundred got the reward of being able to interact with art fans.

"Big part of being an artist is you know connecting with your buyers. touching people you know.. seeing how they relate to your work," said Wayne Francis, a local artist.

Francis was able to spend time with one of his collectors who made the trip all the way from Michigan.
"Be able to not only to see more of his work but able to have a conversation with him," said Neil Topliffe, an art collector.

Artists from all around the United States and even three different countries made the journey to Ft. Myers.
One of those artists, Edgardo Carmona, created a sculpture on Main Street in downtown Ft. Myers. The piece is of a man and his dog relieving themselves. It generated quite the reaction. Carmona's fellow artists had nothing but praise for his work.

"It is fantastic, you know, Fort Myers to do this kind of public art is incredible you know!? To commission.. these pieces are great," said Francis.

An opinion echoed by the event's executive director.

"I think it is fabulous. I think its all about the artwork. Actually Edgardo is here and he will be here all weekend and it is the epitome of why art is a protected thing," said Sharon McAllister, ArtFest Executive Director.

ArtFest continues this weekend from 10:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Event coordinators expect about 85,000 people to make a trip downtown to admire the work.